Thursday, May 3, 2018

Queen's Blade Unlimited Story: Chapter 2-2(b1)

For the poll on the new Cattleya, "looks great and new outfit fits her!!" won with 36v-52%, followed by "looks good but something is off" and "can't say I got strong opinions" with 15v-22% and 11v-16%. After that, there was "absolutely horrendous!" and "looks bad" with 5v-7% and 1v-1%.
Well, more than half of the people like the new Catt, that isn't pretty bad at all :3

And we continue our comparison polls, Melpha's turn now~!

Regarding the story, here's a bit more of Tomoe!

Enjoy!





Chapter 2 : A match before her Majesty the Queen (Part 2)

Roommate ~ Warrior Priestess Tomoe (1)

Tomoe readied herself for meditation, sitting on her bed, closing her eyes and clearing her mind.
To the Warrior Priestess, this was simple routine. Focusing one’s mind, you could find and be aware of even the slightest issue within your body… and being on such a long-term mission by herself, such pre-emptive measures were all the more crucial.

Although her talismans had managed to absorb some of the power behind Risty’s attacks, they had their limits. Even days after the battle, Tomoe still felt searing pain course through her left arm whenever she tried lifting anything particularly heavy. Had any of those attacks from the bandit been a direct hit… the raven-haired girl scarcely wanted to imagine the outcome.

(I was unable to parry her attacks entirely, I still have much to learn…)
Hearing approaching footsteps, the priestess opened her eyes.
“Excuse me~”
There was a knock, followed by a woman opening the door and walking inside.
Strange, it was still much too early for it to be the bath she’d requested.
“Lady Tomoe, if I may…”
“Yes? What is it?”
She gave the inn worker a serene gaze. Suddenly, the woman bowed, an apologetic look clear on her face.
“Our apologies! But we need to ask you to share your room today!”

Although designed to accommodate multiple occupants, Tomoe’s room had, more or less, been hers alone thus far, due to no one else coming by to occupy the other beds.

Fully aware of the fact, Tomoe felt little reason to complain.
“That’s perfectly fine. I’m thankful enough simply having a room as it is.”
The woman’s face visibly brightened. If Tomoe had to guess, the woman must have felt quite nervous about having to explain the situation to a foreign beautiful fighter.
“You have our thanks. I’ll go make the arrangements then…”

“Roommates…? Well, so long as they’re reasonable folk, it shouldn’t pose any issue…”
Tomoe returned to her meditation.

***

The inn was a lot nicer than Elina expected. During the carriage ride to the building’s inner entrance, she even noticed an intricately beautiful, arch-shaped gate, giving the inn’s outer area a highly garden-like feel. It was all quite inviting.

And between the abundant water sources and plentiful greenery, the general atmosphere told volumes about how well cared for everything was too.

“Hm, now then.”
“We’ve been expecting you. You must be Lady Elina and company.”
The woman at the front desk greeted Elina, as the inn’s maids tended to her luggage.
“Show me around.”
Used to this sort of situation, the blonde ordered that they lead her to where she needed to be, fully entrusting her things to their care.
“If you please.”
The maids led the way up a flight of stairs while Elina followed. Through a window, she noticed more carriages arriving one after the other outside, dropping off more and more customers by the second.
“It certainly is busy, isn’t it?”
“Indeed, Her Majesty the Queen was spotted somewhere in the city.”
“Oooh, Queen Aldra herself.”

Aldra, the most powerful beautiful fighter around and winner of two back to back Queen’s Blades. Despite looking like a young girl, the Queen was rumored to be even older than she was.
[Tapping into some kind of inhuman power, I bet.]
Elina theorized before finally arriving at her room.
“We’ll leave you to your rest now.”
Bowing once, the maids left her luggage by the door and left.

Taking that as her cue, Airi quickly opened the door and ushered Elina inside.
“Wow, surprisingly roomy and nice, isn’t it?”
Atop wooden floorboards lay four beds, each located in their own corner of the room and carefully designed to allow each customer their own semi-personal space via translucent curtains that dropped down from the ceiling, allowing them to partition off each side. An elaborate set up that only helped to highlight the inn’s quality all the more.

Noticing a figure obscured behind one of the curtains and already occupying its bed, Elina stopped in her tracks. The curtain parted and from within came a black-haired beauty dressed in unfamiliar, foreign-looking clothes.
“Greetings, I am happy to make your acquaintance.”
Settling herself by the side of her bed, the girl politely lowered her head.
“My name is Tomoe, the Warrior Priestess, fate having led our paths to cross, I would like to say it is an honor.”


Moving to follow through with the priestess’ self-introduction, Airi stepped forth.
But, noticing the maid’s perfectly silent advance, Tomoe swiftly and without hesitation moved for one of her talismans.
To a shrine maiden, wraiths were beings to be struck down on sight.
“You needn’t fret, you’re perfectly safe. My name is Airi, this is Lord Michel and this is my mistress, Lady Elina.”
“Not that I’m looking for a fight or anything, but attack my slave and I won’t overlook it; it is a ruler’s duty after all.”
Tomoe frowned, the mention of ‘slave’ disturbing her, but relented nonetheless and set her talismans aside.
“Forgive me. I have no wish to fight either.”
“Good. That works best for the both of us. That aside, you’d only be wasting your time anyways, I’ve already taken the liberty of educating Airi on what would happen if she were to partake in any shameful acts such as attacking others.”
And with the implication that if Airi were to do anything untoward, Elina would be the one to deal with her, the blonde quickly drew a close on the subject by lowering the curtains and leaving Tomoe to her side of the room.

“Remember, we’re leaving the moment you bring the luggage in, Airi.”
“Ah, yes.”
The blonde kept instructing the maid, giving little care if Tomoe could hear.
“What about you, Michel?”
“Would you mind if I stay? I’m a bit tired.”
“That’s fine. I doubt anyone will attack you here.”
Elina shot a look at the maid. Ever since their challenge and the wraith’s subsequent enslavement after the Queen’s Blade match, there’d been no signs of anyone else coming after Michel.
“You, Tomoe was it?”
“Yes?”
Not expecting to be called out again so soon, the priestess straightened up to attention from the other side of the curtain.
“You’re a Warrior Priestess, right?”
“Indeed. We take pride in exorcising demons and aiding the weak.”
“Good… that’s a relief.”
This only served to confuse the priestess further.
[Why would that be of any relief to her?]
“If you get into any trouble and need help, ask Tomoe.”
“W-Whaa-?”
The suggestion caught Michel off guard.
“We’re sharing a room with her, so we may as well make the most of it.”
Elina informed Michel, then walked off without missing a beat.
“W-Wait for me, Lady Elina.”
Naturally, the maid soon followed after.
Left to themselves now, both MIchel and Tomoe turned to look at one another’s silhouettes through the translucent curtains, stunned.

***

“Was that wise? Leaving Lord Michel behind like that?”
The maid asked the Vance girl as they made their way towards the stadium.
“Seemed okay to me. You heard my reasoning.”
Far as Elina knew, Airi was the only one sent after him, and she was on their side now.
“She said she was a Warrior Priestess, a group said to be the strongest in Hinomoto. Having seen what the Chivalrous Order can do themselves first-hand, I’d wager leaving him in a room with her can only be a good thing.”
“You certainly are well informed.”
“Education, education is key. Learning about other lands is also a ruler’s duty!”
The blonde waved her hand matter-of-factly, before looking back to the wraith.
“You can always head back if you’re worried, you know.”
“And spend another minute more than required with that Priestess? Please, do not even joke. Why, the very thought of being in her presence again disgusts me.”
“Oh? Then why choose to share a room with her?”
“That was for your sake, Lady Elina. I had to make sure the two of you received proper rest tonight.”
“That’s pretty considerate of you, I’m impressed.”
Elina’s honest reply brought an unexpected smile to the maid’s face.
“A slave must consider their master’s health above all else, after all.”
Elina’s brutal honesty had its upsides, something Airi considered both charming and quite appropriate for a girl the blonde’s age. Ulterior motives aside-- the fact that Airi would likely not receive any essence if her mistress were to be in poor health--, it made keeping her role as the perfect attendant a pleasant experience.

***

“We appreciate your patience~”
One of the inn’s attendants suddenly announced as she walked into the room, dragging along a pail of hot water and a large bathtub.
“Huh?”
The woman politely bowed to Michel as she walked past, heading towards Tomoe’s curtained off side of the room.
“Will here be alright?”
“Yes, please.”
The attendant set the bathtub down on the floor and began readying the hot water.
“U-Umm…”
“Oh, you needn’t worry. With the curtain down, the other guest won’t see a thing.”
Tomoe let out a sigh of relief.
Among the many lifestyle changes Tomoe was forced to accustom herself going from Hinomoto to the Continent, bathing was one of the more troublesome ones to deal with.

“A Warrior Priestess should never unduly exposed herself.”

That single precept left her unable to use any of the plentiful public baths within the territory, forcing her to bathe this way.
“All ready, now if you’ll excuse me.”
Having finished the preparations, the maid went on her way.

“Mister Michel… can you hear me?”
The priestess called out to the boy, the only other individual in the room right now, through the curtain. There was something she needed to ask.
“U-Um, yeah?”
“Can you see me at all from there?”
“Well…”
He turned to check. He could just make out her silhouette through the curtain, but not much else.

“I can’t see a thing. So you can relax.”
“Really?”
“Rest assured, and if anyone suspicious comes by, you can count on me to drive them away too.”
“Quite the gentleman, aren’t you?”
“One has to do their best to protect women.”
The words brought a smile to Tomoe’s face. She might not have ended on the best of terms with Elina, but at the very least she felt she could hold an honest conversation with Michel.
“I’ll be sure to hold you to that, thank you.”
Her worries satisfied, she began to disrobe.
(W-Whoa…)
Michel cleared his throat, trying his best to keep his voice down. While he’d been right to say he couldn’t quite see her through the curtain, underestimating the shadowy silhouette he could see turned out to be an oversight, because it showed plenty.
Still in the midst of disrobing, the Warrior Priestess’ supple curves now had the boy mesmerized.
The sound of silk rubbing against silk did little to mitigate his already very active imagination either, the thought of her skin becoming more and more exposed nearly overwhelming him. He clenched his fists. With the room being as quiet as it was, there was little else to distract him either.
(Bad Michel! What do you think you’re doing!?)
“Mister Michel?”
“Y-Yes!?”
“Do you mind if we chat? Just to pass the time a little.”
The water’s temperature now just right, she took a step into the bathtub and sat down. Although, with what little water they’d given her, it was more of a half-bath really, not that there was much she could do about it.
“For what reason are you and the others travelling?”
“Err…”
He was at a loss for words on that one.
Elina was chasing after her sister, Leina, and since it looked like they were heading for the same destination, they travelled together. Still, similar destination or not, because neither of them shared the same end goals for when they’d reach there it made explaining things… a tad tricky.
“If you’d rather not say, then you needn’t do so. I never meant to pry.”
“Well… why do you ask?”
“I was simply curious: you, along with that wraith, being slaves to that somewhat selfish individual and all.”
“I am… no one’s slave.”
“You’re not? That’s a relief then.”
Softened by the sincerity behind her words, he decided to at the very least share his motivations.
“My goal is to reach Maramaks.”
“Maramaks!?”
She sounded alarmed.
“You know of it?”
“Y-Yes… and if is the same place as the one I’ve been told of… then I doubt it’s somewhere you want to go to.”
Maramaks, in Hinomoto, was known to be a generic name for Hell, written as Mara-Makutsu.
“I was told it was a Holy Land.”
“Perhaps to the Continent, but to us residents of Hinomoto, it is thought to be Hell. A world parallel to our own where the denizens of hell lurk in wait… or so I was taught in any case.”
“A world parallel to our own…”
Michel repeated the words, something telling him that the reason why they were unable to find Maramaks on any maps might have something to do with that.
“I don’t quite know every detail myself however.”
Washing herself, the priestess made a wry smile.
“So why are you participating in the tournament, Miss Tomoe?”
The boy asked, opting for a change of subject.
“I’d like to cure someone's illness.”
“Someone’s illness?”
“One we have no cure for back in my homeland.”
Her voice sank.
“Winning the Queen’s Blade can make any wish come true, or so I’ve heard.”
“But only those who become Queen gain that right…”
“Yes, that’s rather the gist of it, isn’t it?”
The price of the Queen’s Blade, putting one’s pride as a Beautiful Fighter on the line, where losers were forced to answer to the whims of the winners.
However, any request made to an opponent had to be something the loser could actually achieve. You couldn’t well ask someone for an impossible task after all.
“I’d heard there was a remedy to curing it here on the Continent, one that requires a unique ingredient, Man-Kon-Tan.”
“So you’re fighting to obtain medicine?”
“Yes. I’m aware it will be a difficult task, but if I keep fighting, I may yet stand a chance of obtaining it. Someday…”
Like reaching for the stars, there was a sense of hopelessness to her words. The chances of a Beautiful Fighter having any clues regarding the medicine were next to none and like Risty, most hadn’t even heard of it to begin with. Nevertheless, the priestess had to keep fighting, she had to keep believing in that tiny sliver of hope.

“It will no doubt be a long and arduous battle… but I am ready for it.”
Tomoe stood up and out of the water, as if trying to reinforce those words.

A long battle, a very long battle…
A battle to which Michel may have an alternative to… but as always, the prospect of letting anyone else make use of his whistle worried him.

[Should I be honest and tell her I might have the means of curing the disease myself? Or should I just… stay quiet…?]
“Miss Tomoe…?”
“Yes?”
“If you had the means to help someone, would you do so without even the slightest bit of hesitation?”
“I would.”
Tomoe answered within a moment’s notice.
“My entering the Queen’s Blade is proof of that.”
Saying that out loud, Tomoe almost felt as if a weight had been lifted from her.
She got dressed.

“Thank you, Mister Michel.”
“Huh? What are you thanking me for?”
“For the chat.”
Tomoe suddenly parted the curtains.
“Ah…”
And Michel was at a loss for words, stunned by the sight of Tomoe’s divine figure basking in the sunlight behind her, shining like a halo.
“Thanks to you, I think I can now continue without worry.”
She bowed to him, then left the room.
“...I never told her.”
The boy merely looked off to the door Tomoe had left the room from, whistle still in hand.




---


Ok, a couple of notes about this one:
-When Elina mentions a "chivalrous order", that's a very subtle reference to the "chivalry of the White Tiger", the soldiers unit that Claudette supposedly commands (as opposed to Elina's own Royal Guard)
-When Tomoe mentions Maramaks is known as "Mara-Makutsu" in Hinomoto, that's supposed to be wordplay with some kanjis that mean "penis/obstacle to Buddha" and "brothel/den of thieves" respectively... oh well

7 comments:

  1. Hunn!! I like the older mature Melphia but the younger version is kinda cute.

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  2. That's the thing though... they're turning basically everyone "cuter" except for maybe Cattleya and Echidna (though I'd argue even she does look a tad cuter compared to her original look). Where's the variety? For every character like Nowa with her smiley cuteness we had a character like Echidna and her "I'm gonna screw you and leave you for dead" stares, but I'll admit Echidna is one of the characters who's sexiness/matureness didn't get reduced that much. Melpha on the other hand, being my second favorite after Cattleya (big surprise right?) has been ruined for me. Almost completely changed, to be honest. She looks like the generic busty moeblob side character from anime like Ladies vs Butler (Sanae the maid) while I saw her original look as more like the school nurse type (like Shizuka from Highschool of the Dead) or more like Mikan from Ladies vs Butlers if we're sticking with one source for comparison.

    One of the thing i liked about the original character designs was that you could see the style of their respective designers coming through. Cattleya was totally a Kaneko character while Melpha was totally Oda Non and Menace was totally FS. And that created a variety of personalities along with the variety of looks.

    But here's the real kicker for me: Melpha's main fetish has been totally eliminated. The reason for her creation, the main element of her design, is gone. The challenge in creating her was to create a character who was as ecchi as possible without showing any skin, hence the skintight, semitransparent bodysuit. Now her outfit just makes her look like a generic female cleric/priestess character. I can't even think "nun" while looking at her (which was another one of her fetishes, maybe her main one). She looks like she casts spells, not holy poses. She's not even at Sigui's level.

    As for the reboot in general. Wow, I never expected Hobby Japan to go all "Marvel comics" on us. I actually hate the concept of reboots anyways. Even if I like a particular reboot, like the Dark Knight trilogy in terms of Batman, I can see how it's always shitting on what came before and that there are fans of what came before that are being stepped over, sometimes even over corpses (Tomb Raider is a major culprit of this recently... RIP the original Lara Croft). That's especially the case if the reboot is successful. For me, most of the things Unlimited as done so has gone against my tastes, while a few things have been awesome (but unnecessary) changes. Dark-skinned Echidna and Bikini-mommy Cattleya are nice but not worth it if it comes with other changes like everyone being redone in the same generic moe artstyle (Massive irony for me because the main reason I loved QB in the first place was because it was an oasis of beautiful, mature, amazonian women characters in an anime ocean of the moeblob girl/loli pop-culture at the time). Elina being the focus of the story over Leina is an even bigger grievance for me because she was pretty much the only character in the series I ever hated. It boggles my mind how sometimes, like in her manga, she's portrayed as a lighthearted typical main character but then she's also shown in other places as a monster or sociopath. She's done terrible things to both Nyx and Cattleya in official works, and now she's even enslaved Airi (and SHE'S the one who works for the Swamp Witch? lol)

    I'm probably in the minority here but I do like Michael being in the story (effing lucky boy) but so far the potential seems to have been mostly wasted. The story has been otherwise pretty dull so far even compared to the TV anime, even in terms of ecchi (aside from the few moments with Michael and, of course, his whistle, lol).

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    Replies
    1. i kinda agree with you there. I hate how moe all the characters look now. claudette was my favorite, she looked actually older than her sisters before but now they all look so young... i really hate claudette's new design to be honest.

      I think michel is super pointless, and it's weird since he's like what, 12? the show's about hot women fighting so any screentime he has is a total waste. I actually enjoy the plot of qb too but he seems like a rando that really doesn't matter to it much. it's not like he can become queen, so...

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    2. dr. gulabjamuns (zhizn snake)May 6, 2018 at 12:30 AM

      Oh yeah, Claudette is definitely another case. She was definitely one of the most mature-looking characters before.

      As for Michel, I would have thought most fans wouldn't like him being there because I know a lot of fans see the series from an "exclusively female" and "girl-on-girl action" angle and like the semi-lesbian moments and don't want any "filthy males" ruining their fantasy. Personally I've never been too into that fetish, but I'm not against it either. I thought it'd be clear as to why he's there though... more ecchi and comedic moments. I mean, that whole whistle bit. Just look at the earlier bit with Melpha trying to clean it with her breasts (I think? lol) and then it "affecting" Michel from far away. I mean they could have given that kinda gimmick to a female character but then there'd be people complaining about there being a futanari angle. Not gonna lie though, if I was Michel's age again right now I'd be a much bigger fan of this series right now than I am, lol.

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    3. dr. gulabjamuns (zhizn snake)May 6, 2018 at 12:40 AM

      Yeah the story definitely does need a lot more fighting so far though. But I'm still interested in seeing how Michel reacts to Cattleya when she shows up, lol. For most of the series Rana has been the only real male character in the main "roster", but I guess he's too canonically young to appreciate his situation (especially in the anime, his reactions to Echidna and seeing Leina... lol), unlike Michel.

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    4. I've wondered how Michael will react to Cattleya too, I wonder how she'll be with him as well.

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  3. Dr. gulabjamuns (zhizn snake)May 5, 2018 at 1:43 PM


    I'm actually really surprised that most of the polling shows people are generally liking Unlimited so far. Just the fact that one of the main characters is male is something I thought would have had most QB fans (at least the ones of the anime) flipping desks by now. But I think most guys, at least male anime fans, prefer cuter female characters over sexy ones after all.

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